Take off: With dependable overnight flights from major U.S. cities, LAN Airlines (LAN.com; 866-435-9526) has established itself as the region's leading carrier. Book online to receive 3 percent off each ticket.
Luxe for less: The dollar still goes a long way there, and the city's most sumptuous Old World gem, the Alvear Palace Hotel (AlvearPalace.com, 877-457-6315), is a worthy splurge (rooms start at $382). In addition to its gorgeous spa and top-of-the-line Arita antiques store, "the hotel's service is impeccable," says Adam Glassman, O's creative director. "Butlers cater to every whim—I didn't think hotels did that anymore."
Afternoon refresher: Tea in the hotel's glass-domed L'Orangerie garden is a popular choice, but for a more traditional experience, sip café cortado (espresso "cut" with milk) in the Lobby Bar while sampling sweets filled with dulce de leche, a caramel-like paste beloved by locals (even Oreos are stuffed with it).
The Paris of South America: A walk around the hotel's posh Recoleta neighborhood confirms the city's similarity to the French capital. Belle époque mansions with intricate masonry and delicate wrought-iron fences line its blocks, and Cementerio de la Recoleta, the maze of ornate mausoleums where Eva Perón is buried, recalls Paris's famed Père Lachaise cemetery.
Soaring heights: In the Microcentro district, a ride to the top of 22-story Palacio Barolo—itself an architectural wonder—provides a stunning view of Avenida 9 de Julio (the world's widest boulevard), the iconic Teatro Colón opera house, and the neoclassical Casa Rosada ("pink house," where the president lives).
Street party: Stroll down cobblestoned Calle Defensa in up-and-coming San Telmo and explore Pasaje de la Defensa, a former aristocratic residence whose three courtyards now house tiny antiques shops. The area is a throwback to the Buenos Aires of centuries past, and a guaranteed spot for impromptu tango demonstrations. Aim for a Sunday visit to see the lively craft fair that ends with a riotous dance parade set to loud drums.
Good eats: Authentic Bar El Federal and Bar Británico are perfect for quick lunches, serving tostados (hot sandwiches) with local Quilmes beer. No trip to Argentina is complete without a grilled steak and a glass of Malbec, the country's signature wine varietal; La Cabrera, in the chic Palermo Viejo neighborhood, offers both at an unbeatable price. For a taste of the city's buzzing nightlife, sip cocktails in the garden of hip resto-bar Milión.
Reach out: Contact the Argentina Tourism Office (Argentina.Travel, 305-371-5559) for more info.)
Behind the scenes: See photos from O's Buenos Aires shoot